Skin Care tips, tricks and bullshits.

HELLO my loves. I hope you are as safe as you can be and dealing with the bullshits as well as you can. Today let’s talk about some things I wish I’d known when I got into skin care. We’re gonna go over lots of stuff.

First thing, some of this some of y’all are gonna be like BUT OMG AUNTIE IT WORKS FOR ME. Yes it might right now. Some of the things will cause later damage or are things that are highly comedegenic. Also if you don’t know, yes I love natural but natural ain’t always great. Cyanide is natural and you still shouldn’t eat it. That said, everything that exists is chemicals.

Now, when we talk chemicals do keep in mind that a lot of the scare articles don’t tell you the manner or level of ingestion. Too much of anything can cause a problem. You can die from drinking too much water. Don’t get too into that. Do your research but keep in mind, it is likely you won’t be putting a chemical up your own butt every day for 10 years and thus causing yourself a scary illness.

ALL RIGHTY THEN lezgo.

Let’s talk about exfoliation. When it comes to your face, here’s the problem. A lot of us suffer weird textures, etc and it is super satisfying to use a physical scrub. I was a devout physical exfoliator for YEARS y’all. Scrubs, brushes. ALL OF IT. However, once I learned the dangers including:

  • microtears in the skin
  • Said microtears helping bacteria get in and cause acne
  • Compromised acid mantle
  • Long term damage

I gave it up and switched to chemical exfoliants. My skin is still pretty sensitive so it took some product before I found the one. Every now and then I’ll use a very soft physical exfoliant, I have a knock off of the Tatcha Soothing Enzyme Rice Polish*. The long term differences between physically exfoliating and doing it chemically has been night and day.

I started with adding a gentle retinol to my routine and followed with experimenting with BHA’s and AHA’s. Not all at once. Please don’t do that. For me, while The Ordinary Glycolic acid*was like..BOOM POW it was a bit too intense for my face. I wound up only being able to use it a couple of times a week. That said, over time exfoliating chemically has proven to help fade my hyperpigmentation and a lot of it hasn’t returned in the same spots. Spots I’ve had for years that were black/purple have faded. And overall, I feel like my skin is in better health. No microtears and my acid mantle is intact.

I am tempted by physical exfoliation. I used my rice stuff last night because it is high allergy season for me so my face is flaky. It sufficed.

Now if you already have scrubs what do you do with them cause we ain’t wasting shit at aunties house. If OMG PLS DON’T BUY you have one of the St Ives type scrubs, please don’t use that shit on your face. Use it on your feet, use it on your butt, use it if you have bumpy areas on your body. Keep that shit off of your precious face.

If you have sugar scrubs, pro tip using them in tubes (as they usually come for skin) use them on your body. SUPER pro tip. The Freeman Facial Charcoal & Black Sugar Polish Mask is AWFUL for your face over time. BUT y’all, it is an amazing body scrub. It is a bit perfumey for me but I really love how silky it leaves my body.  Use it in combo with something like an exfoliating towel on your booty…then moisturize heavily and just rub it. You’ll be happy.

Moisturizing. Listen. Moisturize your damn face. Yes even if your face is oily. I used to have mega oily skin as in, sometimes it looked like I was sweating. However, once I started to focus on hydrating my skin it started to balance out. Look at being super oily as you needing to help your face realize it is moisturized so the excess sebum production slows down. It takes time. Your face will freak out. You might break out but, give it time.

What I settled on was using very rich, thick serious moisturizers at night and using something more gel like for day under my sunscreen. I often see in skin care groups folks being nervous about going to bed shiny. Go to bed lookin like a glazed donut. I mean it. Your pillow will soak up some product and also, matte is not important if you’re asleep. if you’re worried what your partner will think, maybe get them into skincare. Or tell them to fuckin’ deal with it.

I do not believe in rigid skin types. Skin is a living organ and changes. Also regardless of type, you need hydration. Drink water and moisturize.

If you find an oil you like, use that as well. I’ve used lots of them but my faves to use as my last step at night are squalene or rosehip oil. Other oils I like, hemp oil (shelf stable), vitamin e, argan oil, olive oil. Stop putting coconut oil on your face. Coconut oil can be highly comedegenic so use it elsewhere.

ALSO when it comes to products that will be on your face for hours make sure you check your ingredients. Essential oils are great for a lot of things but not on your face. Most of them even in small concentrations can increase skin sensitivity, irritation, etc. It can be hard to avoid so look for fragrant components at the end of the ingredient list.

Use SPF like it is your goddamn job. Especially if you are treating any type of pigmentation issues like melasma or hyperpigmentation. UV exposure will undo your work, put you at risk for skin cancer and overall fuck up your day. YES you too beautiful melanin rich people.

Also look.

Real talk. Three months or ten years of good skin care probably won’t give you influencer skin. Skin changes, hormones, weather, stress life, aging etc. Don’t give up because you’re not perfect after a few uses. What I’ve discovered is that rather than focusing on trying to attain that filter look or flawless glass skin, I concentrate on keeping my skin supple and healthy.

Also if you’re unable to keep up a full routine don’t give up on yourself. If all you can do is use a wipe or miceller water to take off the day, that’s okay. Don’t toss your stuff. Do what you can when you can.

Last pro tip from your fave Auntie. Treat your skin from your scalp to your toes like silk. Treat it good. Feed it well and put up with the bullshit it throws at you. If you can’t do it out of self love, do it because it holds in your organs and you need that.

As always affiliate links have a *. I encourage you to google for good prices. Go forth and glow baby.

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[image description: a photo of your fave auntie. Brown skinned, wearing glasses, a headwrap and a lip ring.]

Self-care stuff, smol victories and homemaking.

Hi babes. Today we’re going to talk about self-care and some things I’ve been working on to help preserve my little bit of sanity and improve the quality of my lived life.

So for context, those of you who don’t know me, have probably not read the book I wrote about self-care. You can download and read it for free here (right click and save as, if you use the kindle chrome extension, you can open the link and send to kindle). Please don’t redistribute it or steal it, it is free. If you share it please direct folks back here or at least use my name. I have had the material stolen before and it makes me feel like shit.

I’ve written new material about it off and on but lately I’ve been very focused on using my habit of writing stuff down, to remind myself that basically I’m not totally failing. With the current news I absolutely feel like a lot of us need to claim our small victories because too much of the world is shit.

ON to victory.

For me, I’ve been working on making my house a home. This is something I’ve struggled with my entire adult life. This is mainly due to childhood trauma (YAY SHIT) and working on it has been…bad. After we moved into our current place, I promised myself I would do the shit. I been doin the shit.

First up, below look at a little photo of my hallway. Over the last few weeks partner and I cleared a bunch of boxes and junk from the area and it looked like this after.

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[image description: photo of the authors home there are drawers in the forgroung against a wood floor. also in view a closet, an open bathroom door and some random items]

One of the challenges we’ve faced at home is that it is very small. Partner and I live in a tiny studio and when we moved in we had to throw out most of our furniture because it wouldn’t fit or it was too old and raggedy. I purchased the two bin things as a set from Amazon* (yeah it isn’t “real” furniture but whatever fight me) and I love them.  One of the reasons I love these is that empty they are very lightweight and I can move them by myself. Also I am going to decorate them with tape.

I had a small one like this* that I was able to move into the bathroom and I organized my skin care, hair care and whatnot. WIN. Another thing I like about this sort of plastic stuff is that they are super easy to clean. And I can use them where ever I need to.

Being able to arrange things to my own liking has been amazing. I’m really focused on keeping our home accessible to both of us, easy to maintain and I’ve discovered I have a BIG OLE love of organization.

Next victory.

I purchased a shoe rack* from Amazon. Partner got it together and he put it in front of our front door. Our door has a full swing to open and my lil shoes are out of the way and displayed in a way I find very pleasing. AND no shoe germs in the house!

victory

[image description: a black shoe rack with assorted black shoes on it]

With the area in the first photo opened up more, that means I can get my exercise on right there AND we will have space for my next thing which will be a rack to store some kitchen stuff on.

So why is this such a big deal? First reason is that, I’ve never allowed myself to prioritize my own comfort in my home to spend money on things I both like and need. That is a big deal for me and I’m learning to enjoy the process. Second reason is that, I ENJOY it. Part of my philosophy surrounding self-care is heavily involved in allowing myself to enjoy things.

Yes things are shit right now but, I will snag the joy where I can snag it.

I encourage y’all to do it too.

So tell Auntie your small victories. Remember to cheer your friends on. Do a victory dance when the family or kids or partner or friends do something.

PS

Affiliate links denoted with a * as usual. If you enjoy the self care book feel free to come back and tip me out.

 

 

Wellness- We Got Beef.

OH hi babe.

Let’s dive right on in cause I got a problem.

I have had a very long standing interest in wellness. I’m talking, I started reading about herbs and Indigenous remedies, family remedies, food as medicine etc way back in the early 90s. I’ve always leaned towards treating myself in a holistic manner, I like to look at the whole picture of how my body works and how to support it working as best it can.

This interest both predates and supports my general wooness. I remember reading a book about being a hedge witch and automatically my interest in the woo bits of herbs and food got my interest.

Basically, I am not new in these wellness streets. So buckle up.

I spend a lot of time engaging with media content about wellness. I have some major problems around how wellness is being marketed, talked about and done because it isn’t well.

First problem. The thin, white, cisness of it all. Being that we live in the age of the Influencer, wellness has a very standard face. Thin, cis white women often, they pose so we are confronted by their thinness. The sun shining through their thigh gap, their “candid” yoga poses where, the light hits their taut bellies and their boobs are standing up even though they are upside down, their waists are super tiny and their booties super round. We all know the look. We can’t get away from it.

Want to shop for something to wear while you do yoga? HERE IS A PHOTO OF SOME CHICKS ASS. Now, I love booties. Yes please show me your butt I’m into it but, when brands rely on these vaguely porny images that show bodies that have been facetuned within an inch of life, it serves no one. If you like youtube, we’re confroted with hundreds of videos where already thin women, do “challenges” or talk up suspect weightloss products.

On the topic of influencers, I don’t trust not one. From the terrible ads for “tummy teas” (diuretic or laxative teas) to when they do review diets or workouts, there is no follow up or really a lot of substance much of the time.

Second problem is the front loading of fatphobia and weight loss as the goal. Y’all know if you’be been here for a while that I am absolutely against this. I am absolutely against the notion that health is a single thing, a look or a moral issue. The damage of this is so vast. We’ll dig more into why this is damaging later but, for now suffice to say I hate it.

Wellness has become quite the marker of privilege hasn’t it? And the method of marketing used for this type of wellness is so sneaky. It makes you feel bad and aspire to be doing what the person is doing. I mean, we know how successful Goop is with this. I think that a lot of the people who are doing this, are gross. I don’t want or need my wellness to replicate that particular dynamic.

I don’t like the colonialism and Columbusing that goes on. I find a lot of things I see/read about wellness that carry the idea that Becky from Cleveland somehow knows something like Ayuverda so much better than people who have been doing it for thousands of years. You know? I just hate it.

Now let me stop complaining. One of the original reasons I started this blog was because one of the things I’m interested in writing about is wellness. I want to develop my writing around this in a way that not only nourishes and fulfills me but y’all as well. I want to talk about, think about, do and write about wellness without the bullshit above.

This time of year is the worst for thinking about or doing wellness and if you are struggling with the things above, I see you friend.

One of the other reasons I’ve been dragging my feet about it is that, the culture of wellness is so not welcoming to me. I feel like, what I have to say is so far outside of how we are presented wellness, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try. After years of being a fat blogger, I wasn’t sure if I was ready for the rage my views can engender.

I’m ready.

We ready.

SO TL:DR we’ll be visiting wellness more here. And I really hope to give some of y’all a whole new ass view of this stuff.

Thanks for reading.

No New Me

Hello babes! Yer fave Auntie is back and we’re gonna dig into the lie that is New Year New Me horse shit.

Up front let’s establish where I am coming from okay?

  • I do not believe that fat is bad.
  • I do not believe that weightloss and dieting is inherently good.
  • I do not believe that there is one size fits all everyone should have a six pack and thigh gap type of health.
  • I believe that it is deeply harmful to conflate health with appearance, weight or influencer status.
  • I believe that everyone has a right to do what is best for their body and not have to frame it in a way that is hateful towards themselves, shameful towards themselves or in any other way that holds to the idea that, you MUST hate your body and always be trying to change it.
  • I believe that we all deserve to engage with or not engage with wellness as we please.

OKAY now we have that out of the way.

Here is the problem with wellness as it is presented especially this time of year. The idea that we should be ashamed of the bodies we live in because they don’t aesthetically appear to be healthy, is abuse. Health is not an insta look. It is not the dehydrated fitness influencer sucking it in on the beach and face tuning their ass.

Change by itself is great. Change that is fueled by culturally approved self harm and self hate is not.

I come at this from the perspective of someone who will never, ever ever be the “healthy” ideal. Even when I have been thinner, I have not been a healthy person in the context of the idea that there is one true way to be healthy. I want y’all to take a second and think about what health is to you.

Does it mean you’re drinkin your water, doing what body movement you love, feeling the fuck out of your feelings and eating stuff that makes you feel nourished? Or is health to you the Get Thin Or Die Tryin mentality?

This time of year, we’re pressured to conform. We’re all supposed to decide to be skinny butterflies and go hard at the gym and restrict what we eat and really abuse ourselves into looking healthy. Is your engagement with these things based on wanting to look like X youtuber or X fitness model on instagram? Is your engagement based on being ashamed that you don’t eat X superfood or you don’t do X diet?

Rather than abusing ourselves with ALL of these often unattainable lifestyles and health goals, what if we do something else?

Rather than going with the, OMG SO FAT MUST LOSE IT ALL and going buck wild with your diet and exercise, what if instead you try this.

Look at your body and say, yo we don’t get along and I kind of hate you but here is some fuckin water. Or WOW I love you thighs, how good does this stretch/run/squat feel? FUCK WE ARE AMAZING LET’S DO MORE OF THAT.

You see what I did there?

None of us have to engage in these extremes of motivation for change. You don’t have to project or enact self-hatred and self-harm in order to look a way that let’s be real, you probably won’t ever. It is okay. All of our bodies are different. We are each our own weird little biological stew of weirdness.

Some of us are disabled. Some of us have chronic illnesses. Some of us don’t want to be doing Iron mans or whatever. That is natural. That is good. That is fine.

Here’s the thing. Self-hatred can only take you so far. I’ve been there. Shame is not a great lifestyle and rather than trying to shame yourself out of having the body you have right now, what if you didn’t?

What if you decided that even if you’re not ready to love your body yet, you still want it to be as okay as it can be. So maybe you drink more water. Do some yoga. Dance. Do crossfit. Whatever. I’m not saying that making fitness goals or nutrition goals are bad in and of themselves, for some of us goals are magic.

What I am saying is that, here in 2020 try a new approach. Try a new thought.

For me I am doing something. I’m looking at the ways my nutrition can help me be in less pain, feel satiated when I eat, help me have good regular poops.

I am worried about my body so I want to try and help my chunky friendo feel better. I don’t hate my big jiggly thighs, and I am not going to hate them into being something else.

I have a challenge for you.

If you are looking at health and fitness stuff, if you’re on Instagram or youtube pining for that body/lifestyle try this exercise while you’re comparing your meat vehicle to another person. Ask yourself:

  • Do I live in that body?
  • Do I have access to the same level of food quality and quantity, trainers, chefs, gyms, equipment, and support in order to DO the things it takes to have that kind of body?
  • Is this an advertisement?
  • Is what this person does sustainable?

If you are a journaling type, I suggest writing them down. Otherwise just, slow it down when you feel that (and no lie I feel it too sometimes) pull and shame that you don’t have that body/do what that person does.

Next exercise try this.

Instead of letting yourself fall down a shame hole because your ass doesn’t look like so and so’s ass, remind yourself that barring full on ass theft, you cannot have their ass. Your ass is your ass. Their ass is their ass. Instead of hating that your ass is not their ass, if you want to change your ass, focus on the things you can achieve.

Maybe instead of changing your habits or diet or how you exercise based off of shame and self-loathing, try celebrating.  I personally am pretty excited that even with my shitty ass back pain, I am a little closer to being able to touch my toes again when I stretch.

TL:DR look.

New Year doesn’t mean you are obligated to publicly flog yourself for not being some whole ass other person. You really don’t.

Love,

Auntie

 

Revisiting Contextual Fatness.

Oh y’alls.

I’ve seen at least five folks who don’t know each other talking about it, so let’s talk about it.

We’re gonna talk about fatness, gatekeeping of fatness, why fatness is not a single thing or experience and why it is important to learn how to deal with varying fatness because y’all ain’t nobody got time for bullshit.

First let’s define some terms.

Who is fat?

Lots of people are. Some folks are really really fat. As (Lesley?) some folks say, Death Fat. As in, folks will look at them and say things like OMG UR GONNA DIE and supposedly they will/are likely to drop dead that moment because FAAAAAAAAAAAT.

Some folks like me are not really fat except according to the BMI chart which, is horseshit.

Why can I say I am fat AND someone who is Deathfat say fat?

Fatness as a state of physical being isn’t like saying, I breathe oxygen. Fatness isn’t a given nor are the boundaries of fat and not fat fixed.

How does that work?

Fatness is more than just BMI, weight, size etc. Fatness is also cultural. As in, maybe inside the microcosm of one culture, fat might not be the same as it is in another. This doesn’t negate said fatness, it is just a different fatness.

There will always be certain aspects to life as a fat person that can be fairly ubiquitous and various levels of terrible.

  • Health care
  • Unsolicited diet advice
  • Fat shaming

Now. The degree to which these things are damaging or how they impact each of us will vary and that is okay.

Let me tell you a secret.

Experiences of marginalization will never ever be monolithic. Playing who has it worse or saying that because someone is X size they can’t speak on an experience they have is bullshit. Don’t.

Differing experiences in the context of experiences, of day to day life etc are fine. They are natural. Maybe the MOST natural thing to happen AND if my experience as a fat person isn’t yours, that doesn’t diminish either of us.

That said, here is another thing. If you are fatter than another person, you also don’t get to necessarily gatekeep fatness. Your experience especially if you are death fat or super fat is different and that is valid and true. What is not valid and true is the idea that because someone doesn’t experience fatness the way you do means they aren’t really fat.

Let’s not do that.

One of the reasons a lot of people are doing body politics in a shit way is the need to grab at the top fat ass spot. Be the MOST oppressed. Folks mistakenly believe that their personal narrative about living in a fat body, is the narrative. That doesn’t work. We can’t talk about bodies, we can’t talk about what happens when we’re fat and do X thing or need resources etc if we’re wasting time doing this.

So what do we do?

I believe that we don’t have to go through these things and it needs work. One of the things to work on,  is when you feel like someone is stealing or infringing on your experience, take a step back. You regardless of how you feel don’t get to be the One True Fat Ass.

That’s just what it is.

Listen, fatter folks. I know a lot of y’all feel very protective of your activism, your space and your bodies. I was dragged to fuck during the inbetweenie saga of Fatshionista. Spaces for folks who are smaller fats and larger fats are in fact important. BUT not all fat spaces must be only for certain fat folks. Doing things that way sucks and eventually doesn’t help any of us.

 

Your experience, you glorious fat babe is HIGHLY valuable. Your voices are HIGHLY important.

We need you/us. We don’t need you/us to reinforce policing of bodies and the idea that fatness is only one thing.

We would all do well to remember some other stuff about fatness.

Some of us are in fact fatter in real life. Photos don’t tell a whole story. Nor do pant or bra sizes.

When we reinforce the Good/Bad fatty dichotomy, it hurts ALL of us. Why do I say that? Fatness is amoral.As in, it is neither good nor bad it just is. Fatness exists in our bodies, as a cultural experience, as identity and as a unifying thing.

Fatness is very involved and multi faceted. It involves everything from just the size of the ass to how we are treated in the world. If we want to do fat activism, body politics or ANYTHING to do with fatness we must, not get mired in fatty respectability politics and deciding for other folks that if they say they are fat, that we have got to say hey, your fatness is different from my fatness and that’s great.

My different fatness is great.

Your fatness, great.

Sometimes our fatnesses will have stuff in common, sometimes not.

THAT IS ALSO GREAT FRIENDOS.

Let’s embrace fatness and how we live, talk and deal with it as the multi faceted thing it is. That means sometimes we gotta let folks work through their problematic fat stuff. Maybe someone doesn’t seem fat to you. Don’t poopoo them.

Before trying or actually policing other folks fatness and their perceptions of it please think and use some deeper than defensiveness discretion.

If you are a smaller fat person, new to saying fat, new to being fat, if you think you’re fat listen.

I’m talking to you too.

If you believe yourself to be fat I won’t question. However, I will ask that you, like me acknowledge and don’t use your size privilege like a bat. Be aware of and respectful of how your privilege can shield you from a lot of fat experiences.

 

Smaller fat folks, me included-

I know when other fat folks want to exclude us it hurts. Some spaces are going to need to be for them so they can talk safely about the intimacies of being X size. That is fine it is okay. Not all spaces are for all people. That’s okay too.

If you are just getting into fatness, some of this will have hurt your feelings.

 

 

 

 

How not to Break Beauty.

Over at bookface, I ran across a post from the make up company Wet N Wild. Ahem. Note the brown skinned folks in some of the posts/photos.

Love the idea of a lot of what they do. No cruelty, vegan yadda yadda. BUT, most of their face products don’t come in shades appropriate for folks darker than beige. I think one of the foundations comes in a few shades of brown but, come on.

Their new mega cushion foundation literally comes in fiftyshades of beige.

Not long ago plus size retailer Universal Standard did a giveaway of free tees. From their website about us page:

We’re here to break the plus-size fashion industry.
We will accomplish this by making beautiful, quality, modern, elevated essentials for women size 10-28.
We will tear down existing barriers by doing this at democratic prices, and by turning away from fast fashion and all of its waste, inhumanity, and disastrous impact on the environment.
We will use Universal Fit Liberty to shut down the size-bully living in the head of every woman who doesn’t see her true self in the mirror by giving her the leeway to change her body without penalty to her style, or her wallet.
We will create clothes that will erase the style barrier between her and her smaller-size peers.
We will welcome her to our showroom and give her the peace and luxury of a one-on-one session with a stylist.
We will create stunning imagery and thoughtful editorial content because we want her to know she has the right to expect it.
We will say to her, ‘now you can,’ and make it so, in every way a brand can.
And when her interaction with US is over, she will say:
Finally!

The teeshirt I got for free is normally fifty dollars. For a tee shirt. A TEE SHIRT.

What do these things have in common?

This is what happens when capitalism wants to play at activism. Lane Bryant does it, lots of cosmetics companies etc do it. THey want you to feel good about shopping with them on the tickly idea that you’re being part of a movement.

However, if we examine these things closely we find the problem.

It is very rare that the about us, or hashtags actually match up with the brand. Wet N Wild for instance, their hash tags imply accessibility but if we look at what they offer, if you’re not in the fifty shades of Becky range, the choice is deeply limited. They cash in on the cachet of having WOC models/photos but don’t put in the effort to make their product accessible to those people.

Universal Standard is doing something that is almost the same. Just like every other plus size brand, their mission statement implies that you the fat customer are getting some special amazing experience. What is funny is that a lot of fat people are absolutely excluded from jump. If you aren’t of a particular economic class, I doubt you can look at your bank account and say, hell YES get me that fifty dollar tee shirt.

If you are over a size 28 well, too bad so sad.

This is a problem and has been for a long time. Capitalism likes to play dress up in order to make us feel good about having to participate in it. A lot of people want to believe that by buying a shirt from a store that uses progressive sounding hashtags they are really doing something radical.

They aren’t.

This is what the commodification of the lowest level activism looks like. This is what it looks like to use your economic privilege to try and seem more radical.

The fact is, a lot of people, especially those involved with not sparkly or pretty activism are not the demographic here. A lot of the Fat Activists I’ve known for at least 10-15 years, couldn’t afford to vote with their wallets that way. And in terms of clothes accessible to fat folks this is what happens.

Brand X offers body posi sounding line of clothing that is overpriced tee shirts and ugly stretch knits. Folks don’t buy it because it is expensive and ugly. Brand X says, OH WELL WE TRIED U UNGRATEFUL FAT HOES. Brand X goes back to their usual bullshit and get to say, well the market isn’t there.

Make up companies do it with dark skinned folks ALL the time. High end brands want to say that Black women especially don’t buy their products. They make two shades of brown, lots of BW don’t buy it because there are way more shades of us than that, brand says SEE WE TRIED.

These things have gone on for years. They come in and out of fashion and frankly this is why I am very reluctant to vote with my wallet. For me while I do love the idea of voting with my wallet, a lot of the time I’m just not in a position to or frankly I see through too much of the initial shiny RAH RAH LOOK HOW GOOD WE ARE.

I have a lot of friends who are very determined to shop ethically and I think that’s great. It is wonderful. What’s not awesome is the idea that all of us can do that to the same degree. For instance. Probably ten years ago, I remember a big long thing in the fatshion community about not allowing folks who shopped at Walmart to post outfit photos because it encouraged shopping at Walmart.

We all know Walmart fucking sucks.

Some of us know that and shop there out of necessity. Let’s look at a common necessity. Panties.

Now I personally am fond of the Fruit of the Loom Beyond soft briefs. If I were someone who wears a size 30-32 (according to their size chart)

13 56 – 59.5 30W – 32W

We can assume some stretch in the 56-59.5 hip measurement. Now at Walmart you can get a pack of these for $12.44. Now if we shopped with ALL BODIES type thing in mind we might look at Lane Bryant. A similar style of panty is available but only up to size 26. For 10.50$

26/28 14-15 46-48 51-52

Now in this example the person who buys the Walmart draws in a size 13 is not only saving money but they have access to panties their size.

I don’t believe that the person who chooses the Walmart drawers is ethically bankrupt or doesn’t care about how shitty Walmart is. Sometimes, you just really need some damn drawers.

And that is where a lot of arguments about ethical shopping or voting with your wallet fall apart for me. Often there is just a lack of nuance in terms of how these things work in real life for a lot of us.

Marginalization can have a major impact on how we buy, what we buy etc. I think that conversations and actions trying to deal with trying to do our best under capitalism are so important, we need to learn to be more inclusive and listen when our friends say yo this isn’t gonna work for me.

For instance.

If you’re not a fat person and you insist that folks don’t shop a certain brand that goes beyond say a size 24, think about what that says to your size 26 or 40 friends. If you’re someone who is into make up, if you do reviews of say a line of foundations, say hey this does not come in colors made for brown people.

If you work in the has influence area of fashion or make up, bring this shit up. Ask those questions.

Ask if we are breaking beauty, where are our products to support that idea? Why don’t we have products for this person we’re saying is awesome?

I’d like to see our conversations about ethical consumption become less if you don’t do these things you suck type conversations and dig more into accessibility and how reasonable it is to expect folks to all have the same ability to impact these things.

I think when we make these conversations less about doing the most to be right and more about how to live and function and feel like we’re able to make the best decisions we can in our unique circumstances, we’ll be more effective in figuring out how to enact change.

That’s all for now.

PS

We are still not moved. Life is a mess so posting will remain very sporadic.

Skin Care updates.

Hello darlings.

Let’s talk about skin care today and the state of my skin and whatnot.

For reference. I am 40 will be turning 41 in March. Very VERY oily skin that is prone to:

  • Peeling
  • Rashes
  • Dehydration
  • Major hyperpigmentation and scarring often for no damn reason.

I also have skin that is highly sensitive to weather changes, hormones, anything. My skin as I get older gets more extra.

SO wanna see?

nakedface

[image caption: photo of the blogger, brown skinned femme with a naked face.

I really wish I still had my old phone so y’all could get a better idea of where I started. I do still have a scar/s on my forehead from a bad bout of dermatitis but, with gentle regular care they have faded. Also if you look at the corners of my mouth where my skin splits in the Winter, it is lookin pretty clear.

On my check on the right, you can see two dark marks. Both of those are from two MAJORLY clogged pores. Traditionally, since puberty I’ve been prone to whiteheads. From the teeny ones to big ole HOLY SHIT WHAT IS THAT type ones. The smaller ones caused the most hyperpigmentation on my face. Even if left alone.

Those two marks were the other clogged pore, just clogged up for ages without a bump. I treated them at first with a drying solution which only made the top layer of skin peel.

SO y’all…I know this is counter intuitive but I ignored them.

My skin care routine has been a little off. I’m trying not to buy new skin stuff until after we move and I figure out my storage situation. Here’s what I do in general lately.

  1. Remove make up with whatever, balm, oil, make up wipe. Occasionally I take my eye make up off with castor oil if I’ve been more extra than usual that day.
  2. Cleanse with cleanser.
  3. Rinse very well.
  4. Pat dry.
  5. SOmetimes mask right away.
  6. Or skip #5 use my ACV/Water toner.
  7. Vitamin C/hyalauranic acid serum (under 20$)
  8. Retinol (I’m out and my fave is discontinued *SAD MOO*)
  9. CVS even skin oil.
  10. Moisturizer.

Now. I’ve been doing the 10-sometimes up to 13 step skin care for about a year now. This is the result. My skin is visibly softer, I am way WAY LESS prone to scarring. Let me tell you a story.

A few periods ago, I grew a monster pimple. The likes of which I thought I left in my 20s. It hurt, it was red and ragey for a good four days before it even started to whitehead up. I treated it with my favorite OH SHIT mask.

Let me pause here.

ORIGINS Out of Trouble 10 Minute Mask to Rescue Skin Problem. Y’ALL. I know I talk about this product every skin post but I am on tube #3 and it is my real ride or die oh shit product. It is potent. I used a dab of it on Zitzilla every day and it withered. It is in fact expensive but one tube goes a LONG way if you have fairly clear skin and only really need it for oh shitness.

Now, even two years ago I would have wound up with a big almost black mark on the side of my face. When my face scars, the hyperpigmentation will sort of spread like a blob as you can see.

I had a faintish darker than me brown spot for a few weeks and it was gone.

That is HUGE.

Now for most of my life I’d STILL have the scar.

Look at my left cheek, no scar.

Up close I have a few little slightly darker brown scars but they fade fast.

The huge thing is that I stuck with the extra routine. The basics are my skin likes being very clean then, exfoliated and heavily moisturized. This is where I say, you have to give stuff a chance to work.

Right now this moment my face is a bit broken out because I’m out of some of my stuff as I mentioned. My skin is still in good condition, I am concentrating on keeping my skin well cleansed, I do a light peel mask weeklyish and I am still using my spin brush. I also moisturize really well.

I moisturize more than I thought I ever would. I mean, had you told me twenty years ago I would not only moisturize but not be using sebum killer cleansers and aggressively trying to perfect my skin.

Instead, I’ve learned to be gentle with myself even in trying to clear up my skin.

So there it is. After we get moved and whatnot I will talk about what I’m putting back in and going to try out.

 

2018 Priorities and Shit

Holy shitballs it is 2018.

I don’t do resolutions because I find the whole culture of that to be so shamey and gross. So instead let’s talk about priorities.

So far, my number one priority in 2018 is getting the partner and I moved and settled into a new place. This move will improve the quality of our lives so much, I’m super impatient but trying to stay calm about it. I’ve been saving and fundraising for months and after the illnesses and whatnot from Sept-December I was terrified I couldn’t do it.

BUT, I got the coins to cover at least move in so I’m happy.

Correlated to moving is that I’m hoping to be able to afford to do more for my health. I deal with a lot of chronic shit, some of it is shit I’ve had literally since birth. And as has happened time and time again in my life, my unintentional weightloss fixed none of it and exacerbated some of it.

What does more for my health look like? I want to keep up with a few things. I do a double shot of EmergenC in ice water every day. I do vitamins too. Unfortunately I lost my ability to swallow larger pills so I’ve been subbing in gummies. They are okay but my ride or die line up are all horsepills and I’m trying to get back to be able to take them. I’m back up to being able to take some medium sized pills so hopefully 2018 is my year.

Correlated to that, my hair. I’ll be continuing to do the LOC method and my main goal is retaining length. Since braids were a total fucking fail (why yes, I am still salty AF about it) I’m back in wigs. Currently rocking a silver bob that I feel magical as fuck in.

20180105_061338.jpg

[image description: photo of the blogger, a Black femme person in a silver asymmetrical bob wig]

I’ll probably do my annual blowout soonish. My last one, my hair looked AMAZING. I may start doing a blow out once a month or so. Mainly to give myself the encouragement to do a monthly deep detangle. All the way to the scalp with the little comb.

I really want to avoid the deep terrible tangles I struggled with this year. I’m also cycling taking biotin and am going to mix up some hair oil for my scalp because I tried giving up greasing my scalp and nah son.

My poor scalp gets so dry like the rest of my body except my face. So yeah, I’ll be liberally greasing up literally from scalp to toes forever.

Overall my priorities this year are to remember how to take better care of my whole self. I want to return to my habit of figuring out DIY remedies and things. I want to maybe eve start making body care items again.

Hopefully, I will remember to bring y’all along for the fails and wins.

See y’all soon!

Friday Day Dreams and Deals

It’s Friday. I’m deeply relieved.

So let’s talk about some stuff I’m daydreaming about and whatnots.

Usual rules, amazon links will be affiliate links, Ebates available links will be asterisked, y’all know.

The first thing I am daydreaming about being summer breakfast smoothies. I really need to get more fruit in my diet, but I can’t always afford to buy enough fresh to be able to eat it all before it spoils. My partner can’t eat fruit the way I can so we wind up buying little. Also, I must confess I’m nesting HELLA hard right now so I want house shit. I’ve been spying on the Ninja blenders like this one.  I’ve heard good things from friends and the idea of having smoothies to sip on the bus OM NOM NOM. If I do get one, I’ll have to watch myself because I will only eat smoothies because I love them and that’s not really great. Do y’all do smoothies? Y/N? Drop your favorite recipes with no mango in the comments.

Since I’ve been sick pretty much regularly since last fall, I’ve been trying really hard to work out ways to support my health. I’m still having problems swallowing pills so I’ve switched my vitamin routine over to gummies. I’ve been trying to do what I can to support my health. One of the things I use daily is a big ass water bottle. It is getting old and I’m thinking I want this one. 32 ounces y’all. WITH A STRAW!! I love everything with straws. I’ve also taken to drinking a couple of EmergenC’s a day. I like the one with vitamin D and immune support. Although I will note that the CVS store brand of these actually taste way better to me and I just bought two boxes bogo.

I am also daydreaming about getting a coat that is somewhere between winter and fall. It is cold in the morning, but warm when I leave work. I’m discovering that I literally am still so bad at coat shopping. I’m very picky. I want a good deep hood, rain proof or at least resistant, I want it long at least to mid-thigh and I prefer it in black. I’m not a fan of anything too sporty. I LOATHE wearing puffy coats. Y’all, it is such a struggle to be a picky ass old Goth. How does one go about finding a medium weight coat without having a meltdown? Shit is hard and I’d honestly rather spend my money on boots.

Ahem. I’m trying so hard to be an adult about this.

Now let me encourage your retail therapy feels.

Dollskill has some really amazing shoes and bags on sale right now.

If you have CVSCVS in your area or are into ordering, right now they have some vitamin sales that are pretty great. From the site; Save $5 on any Vitamin purchase of $20 or more.
Online only.* Coupon Code: VITAMIN5. And don’t forget to check your extra care rewards! In store there are some vitamin sales happening as well.

Are you a crafter in need of a shitload of yarn? I’ve bought some bags of yarn at this site and it’s a good deal. They don’t have ALL the yarn in the world, but a good selection, especially if you aren’t allergic to wool.

Also I’ve told y’all that you can order from the Dollar Tree in a lot of places? Check your zip code and supply up. This is also an excellent thing to go in on with a friend or friends. Order a bunch of stuff, split it up at one person’s house.

Need some jewelry? My friend Sumayyah makes beautiful jewelry I have a few of her pieces. Check out some of these gorgeous things.

Wanna get your card read? My friend Aaminah does some great intuitive readings and this is a great way to support one of my fave writers. Go look and book.

Want something to read?

Come have a look at my Etsy shop. I’ve got some Lovecraft influenced fiction, some poetry and other lit available RIGHT NOW.  And just for y’all, spend 12$ (basically grab everything available) use coupon code AUNTIESHANNON and get 2 bucks off.

If you’ve got an Etsy shop or other hustle, drop it in the comments!

IT’S MY BIRFDAY!

Er it was my birthday yesterday.

I’m officially 40 y’all.

If you’d like to read a fbomb laden essay about how I feel about turning 40 click here.

So let’s talk about some shit I don’t like.

It appears my fave milky nude, sheer lipgloss has been discontinued. Maybelline Baby Lips Gloss in Taupe With me. I’m on my last tube. It is a really nice pinky super shiny gloss that was cheap and that I love. It was a cross between the Make up Forever Plexigloss in Sweet Pink and the Mac Nicki Minaj lipglass with a bit of brown and a touch less color. There is something about a milky texture to a lipgloss that I just love.

Other shit I don’t like. I had to shave my armpits (I hate shaving) because I had a rash under lefty and righty was feelin weird. Shaved, treated the skin and things got a bit worse. Come to realize, the pit stick I’ve been using has chamomile in it and guess what I’m allergic to? Yes Petunia I am allergic to chamomile….:( so now I’m vaguely funky because I’m using a natural no baking soda deo that can only do so much while my armpits heal.

Now how about stuff I do like?

Um, so my hair is pink right now. I’m SO into this wig. I feel so cute and Pastel Goth like.

pinkhairs

[image description: Black femme with long pink hair wearing glasses.

This is the FreeTress Equal Delux Lace Front Wig – EVLYN. Y’all. This wig is so great. Quick report, it is thick. The color is gorgeous. Very comfortable. If you want to play with color and like wearing silky straight hair, GET ON THIS y’all.

The next great thing happening. For my birthday I side hustled myself enough money to buy the cutest pair of platform booties on ebay.

boot

[image of a black platform ankle boot]

I got these in my usual size 7. Check them out here. These are fantastic. They are super lightweight, lined in plush leopard print and actually kept my feet warm when it was snowing a little. The upper is super flexible so if you have a bigger ankle they would be easily adjustable. I will say these are actually on par with the boots I got from designer brand YRU a couple of years ago. And I will say the construction is superior. I’ve worn these probably five or six times in snow and rain and they are solid. I wore my YRU platforms three times and the platforms separated from the boot.

What else am I loving? With the warmer weather, I’ve FINALLY gotten to break out some of my dresses. I picked up this little beauty while it was on sale a couple of months ago. I paired it with black tights, a black cardi, and my trusty old docs. Super cute on. No stretch though and my XL strains over my boobs. I’ve got my eye on this beauty right here. I really love this one too.

My current aesthetics as the weather inches towards bare leg season is a little 90s flavored Femme Old Goth. See here:

ootd

[image description: Black Femme wearing from the feet up, black platform ankle boots, black skirt, burgundy sweater with a black tank top underneath]

This year all I want are cute dresses and lots of skater skirts to be honest. Let me show y’all some other things I’m obsessed with.

The Sully Dress. Y’all. I want one so bad. Jersey fabric, I love that cut and style. I could wear it multi season. UNF I NEEDS IT.

I really want to try out some elastic harness things like this. I am intrigued because I have yet to see someone with a body type similar to mine wear one. I love the leather ones better but, leather is expensive and I want to try it out before I commit to an investment piece.

I also find myself in need of more skater skirts.

Right now I have my eye on a few on Amazon. This one for days when I want a nice slightly longer one. Pro tip, for stuff like this from Amazon check the reviews, especially ones with photos.

I’ve also got plans on attaining MORE GALAXY PRINT. Why? Cause I friggin love it. I LOVE this skirt, but that will absolutely not fit me. Well the max stretched measurement would work but only if I already pooped that day, was not bloated at all and had on mega shapewear.

I like to pair my skater skirts with my nerdy tshirts. My favorite of that type of outfit I don’t have a photo of but I paired a Deadpool tee with a floofy circle skirt and my tall docs. I was fucking adorable.

Now that I am officially an Elder Goth, can I tell y’all it would be lit if neither money nor time was an object. Check my pinboard of dream Old Goth fashions.

What else?

I’m considering getting my septum pierced because I want an opal clicker on my face. I’ve also resumed using my pinterest tattoo reference board. I had sort of given up on my body mod dreams because money but I have a little stash of cash I put money in monthly that is specifically for mods so maybe?

Content warning for some creepy stuff, I will be adding to it soon.

That’s all for right now loves.

Regular posting will resume soon I promise.

I love y’all!

Be good!